Burleigh County Launches Transparency Portal to Community
This September, North Dakota’s Burleigh County launched Burleigh Checkbook and Burleigh Budget, which offers county residents a view into where their tax dollars are spent. We spoke with Kevin J. Glatt, the county’s Auditor and Treasurer, about why this launch was so important, and how making this information available will grow business in Burleigh County, and guide the county’s strategic planning and ability to make data-backed decisions.
Socrata: What led to the launch of Burleigh Checkbook and Budget?
Kevin J. Glatt: We believe that spending information shouldn’t be kept on a “need to know” basis — citizens should be able to easily see the county’s spending. Launching Burleigh Checkbook and spending is a continuation of my office’s mission to to open the door on how Burleigh County is spending tax dollars, and increase transparency around county spending.
Socrata: How will this new service affect the citizens in your community?
Glatt: By providing a guided view into the county’s spending, citizens will be educated and informed on how their tax dollars being spent. This user-friendly tool makes digging through mountains of invoices and payments as simple as a click to find exactly what spending decisions the Burleigh County government is making year after year — the interactive application puts payment information for many county departments and offices at residents’ fingertips. Information is broken down by department, vendor, and expenditure and can easily be browsed through clicks or searched using the search bar.
Socrata: How about businesses? How does this application make your community more business-friendly?
Glatt: Now, businesses looking to open up shop in our county will have the ability to view current and future infrastructure priorities. Viewing this data within the application provides potential new businesses with a measure of the health of our community.
Socrata: What’s your vision for this program?
Glatt: The availability of open data should assist our citizens and elected officials in decision making processes that will affect the health of our community. Going forward, our strength will grow by having several years of historical information available at the click of button to guide strategic planning as a whole.